Sometimes the first step is the hardest to take.
Even if you have been considering divorce for a long time, or even if divorce suddenly seems like a necessity, you may have trouble deciding to start a divorce. We all tend to stay with the status quo unless we become highly motivated to change.
This is a major, life-shaping decision and you should carefully consider the pros and cons. You certainly shouldn't be forced into deciding to divorce.
Here are some considerations on either side of the start or stay decision.
- You saw value in this relationship in the beginning. Can you still find value in it now? Can you can re-build the benefits to you? Maybe the good still out-weighs the bad.
- You have invested your love, energy and material possessions in the relationship. You may not want to walk away from it.
- Leaving may be damaging to your children or other family members. Ultimately, the decision comes back to you, but you shouldn't ignore the "collateral damage".
- It might be bad timing right now. Maybe you're not working or your finances are in really bad shape. With a little time, you could get a job or save up some money. Your health also might be bad right now. You may need to time to heal or recover. Also, there could be some family obligations, such as a wedding, birth or health crisis for someone else. All of these are legitimate reasons to wait.
- You can control the initial timing. You can choose to start now and not give your spouse time to prepare or cause further problems. You wouldn't have to scramble in response to your spouse's surprise move.
- You are able to plan and prepare. You can set aside money and resources. You can get control of things that you want from the divorce. You can plan your living arrangements and figure out what you want to start out with.
- You can start on a peaceful basis. If you want to minimize conflict, you can start with a peaceful, even Collaborative, gesture to try to keep the divorce on a less-destructive path.
Whichever way you go, good luck!